Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter II: Indian Blood >> Page 25

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Page 25

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription INDIAN BLOOD. 25
That strength was now nigh exhausted. His clothes were in
tatters, and covered with traces of blood and mire. ' His blood-
shot eyes were glazing fast. The curtain of death was' nearly
drawn over them, but his feeble hand was uplifted occasionally
to the tree where the wildcat sat watching hungrily for the
moment when the restless but feeble motion of the dying man
should cease. Blonay approached, and, as his eye glanced
from man to beast, he lifted his rifle, intending to shoot the
monster. The action seemed to irritate the creature, whose
half-suppressed scream, as Blonay advanced his foot toward
him in the act to fire, appeared to defy and threaten him.
" The varmint !" exclaimed the half-breed, I could shoot
him now easy enough, but it's no use. There's plenty more on
'em in the swamp to come after him, and I don't love them
any better than him. There's no reason why I should keep
the meat from him only for them. It's the natur of the beast
to want its fill, and what the wild-cat don't eat the buzzards
must. The varmint won't touch him so long as he can move a
finger, and when he can't he won't mind much how many of
'em get at him."
So speaking, he turned from the animal to the maniac.
The hand was uplifted no longer. The eye had nothing of
life's language in it. The last lingering consciousness had
departed for ever ; and lllonay looked up to the watching
wild-cat, as he turned the body with his foot, muttering aloud
as he did so -- Adra.t it, you may soon come down to dinner."
The animal uttered a short, shrill cry, two or three times
repeated; and with a rising of its bristles, and such a flashing
of its eyes, that Blonay half determined to shoot it where it
stood, for what appeared to him its determined insolence.
Once, indeed, he did lift his rifle, but, with the thought of a
moment, he again dropped it.
It's only a waste," lie muttered to himself, and can do no
good. Besides, it's a clawed bullet. It's of no use to bite
lead when a wildcat's to be killed. Smooth bullet and smooth
bore will do well enough, and them I hi'n't."
Such were his words as lie turned away from the spot, and
departed for the place where his horse was fastened such